Diseases that pass into eggs....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PAChickenChick, May 12, 2008.

  1. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Ok...I'm about to pick the brain of the forum [​IMG]

    My MIL said she will not eat ANY eggs from my chickens because she doesn't know if my chickens are healthy or not. Soooo...that got me thinking....

    If I get chickens and them seem over-all to be healthy...do I need to question if the eggs they lay (un-fertilized) are safe to eat? AND....if I do notice a chicken that seems to be slightly under the weather....what about her eggs?

    At what point would you NOT consume eggs from a hen?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Theoretically the egg should be sterile inside.

    As for diseases passed though eggs that humans can get... I don't know of any. There are a few that birds can pass to their off spring though.

    I think there is one worm that can be passed into the egg, but I don't think it's common and isn't going to hurt you, but rather makes the egg unhatchable.

    A sick hen will often not be laying, so the only real time you should not eat eggs from hens, is if you medicated them with something.
  3. Josie

    Josie Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    I had a RIR last year that seemed lethargic and sick. Two of those days she laid smaller sized eggs. When I went to open them the yolk was black and it smelled putrid.
    Whatever she had, she was over it in a few days and has been laying normal eggs since. I really have no idea what caused it, but there was no way for someone to mistakenly eat those eggs.
  4. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Is it possible that she's worried about something that could be carried on the outside of the egg?
  5. Josie

    Josie Songster

    Jan 3, 2008
    It seems like if the criteria of a safe egg to eat was knowing if "chickens are healthy or not", then that would rule out store bought eggs. With home ones you can monitor health much more closely than on an egg farm. The conditions are normally much more sanitary in general, and the eggs themselves tend to be healthier for you. But sometimes it is best not to argue with MIL.
  6. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I agree that your hens are probably healthier than than commercial egglayers. I also agree that it's a bad idea to argue with mother-in-law. She probably won't believe you, no matter what info you have for her. People tend to stand firm on their beliefs. Unless you live with her, and she won't let the rest of the family eat the eggs, I'd just say fine, no eggs for her. More for the rest of us. [​IMG]
  7. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I would much rather eat eggs for a home farm then store bought where those chickens are kept in sometimes inhumane situtations and they do not monitor for health issues.

    Most people dont eat raw eggs anyway and anything that may be potientally wrong would be killed when properly cooked.
  8. chickfillhay

    chickfillhay Songster

    Dec 31, 2007
    Berlin Nh
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  9. BaronRenfrew

    BaronRenfrew Songster

    The only thing I heard of that can effect both people and chickens is West Nile Virus and it is transmitted by blood from a mosquito. This is why gov't depts use chickens in cages to test if the virus is in an area.

    Salmonella is another that comes to mind. This is why it is not recommended to eat raw eggs.

    Diesease really occurs where animals exist in very large numbers (commercial farms) and where the animals cannot get away from their own feces. The longer an animal has been domesticated (chickens vs quail) the more they can withstand a dirtier environment.

    Hamburger is notorious for salmonella due to the process of slaughtering cattle and the bulk grinding of the meat. If not properly cooked and salmonella is present this creates the health scares we have heard on the news.

    In asia some people live in less than clean conditions with some animals living in the same space. This is where some diseases transfer from animals to people. This generally occurs with monkey type animals which are somewhat close to people.

    Asia is also known for putting human feces on farm fields. This is why Chinese do not eat any raw foods or they drink only boiled beverages (tea).

    Meat eating animals (dogs, cats, people) will scavenge from dead and diseased animals in the wild (wolf on an elk) and are built with a digestive tract that will kill pathogens. Thus the predator does not get sick from eating a sick prey.

    Your barnyard birds are healthy and likely healthier than commercial animals because they can take a dustbath (ridding of parasites) and do not stand around in their waste. They also eat a more varied diet that includes grass and insects when available.

    So there is nothing to worry about eatung eggs from your chickens.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    While both humans and chickens can get West Nile, I do not think it can be transmitted from the one to the other by eating chicken eggs.

    Salmonella is the main concern. But a *cleanly kept* backyard flock probably has less likelihood of salmonella in the eggs than a commercial egg laying flock, and in any case unless you eat raw eggs regularly you are FAR FAR likelier to get salmonella from other sources like grocery-store meat. (edited to add: well, probably even if you DO eat raw eggs regularly [​IMG])

    I think it is totally not a realistic concern. However, worrywart mothers-in-law are generally not interested in the realism (or lack thereof) of their pet worries, so it may not be a battle worth fighting. As someone else said, more eggs for everyone else [​IMG]

    If you DO want to fight the battle, though, ask her what makes her think that anyone is checking battery hens' health even as closely as you check your own hens' [​IMG]

    Good luck though,

    Last edited: May 12, 2008

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